24 April 2012


14 April 2012


04 April 2012

Driving Miss Crazy (aka Why I Have a Prius Hubcap in My Trunk)

I was on my way home, just a few blocks from my house at a stoplight waiting to turn right. The Prius in front of me wouldn't turn right on red so I gave a quick beep of the horn. Nothing. Another quick beep... nothing. Ok, fine, whatever. The light changed and the Prius turned right, scraping against the curb and losing a hubcap. The driver drove on obliviously. I figured I'd be a nice guy and at least let him/her know so I drove past my street and pulled aside at the next stoplight and motioned to roll down the passenger window.

She could not figure out how to roll down the window. After about 20 seconds she finally got a window open but it was her driver's side window. After several more seconds she finally got the passenger window open and I saw that she was an attractive blonde woman, probably about 40yrs old (i.e. not an 85-yr old woman who could barely see over the dashboard). I told her she left a hubcap back where she turned right.

I turned to go home but then I thought maybe I should just go back and meet her at the intersection and put on the hubcap myself. This woman can't even turn right or open a window so who knows what kind of insurmountable dilemma she would have with a hubcap.

I got the hubcap and stood at the intersection, waiting for her. After a couple minutes I spotted her car coming towards me. I got ready. She approached the intersection, turned south, and drove in the completely opposite direction from me. I had no idea what she was doing.

I waited again. She came around again. This time, I waved my arms and the hubcap and, since the light was red, walked into the crosswalk and made eye contact with her, waving the hubcap. She nodded her head. I crossed the street to the south side of the intersection and motioned to a parking spot and waved her to turn south (again) but pull into the spot (instead of driving away). She would not turn right on red. I gestured my fingers in a "come on!" motion. Nothing. Finally the light turned green and she went... EAST, again driving away from me.

She drove one block, pulled into a parking lot, and got out of her car. She stood and looked around for a minute (not checking her wheels, just looking around) and then got back in the car. She drove back towards the intersection (where I was still standing with a hubcap over my head). She turned north and drove away from me again.

If anyone needs a Prius hubcap I have one in my trunk.

02 April 2012

Freeman Ave Then & Now

Freeman Ave 1953:

Freeman Ave 2012:

In the 2012 photo you can see a white building on the right and the taller building right behind it. If you look closely you can see these two buildings in the 1953 photo also. In fact, as I was standing in the middle of the street to take the current photo, a man came up and talked with me for a few minutes. Coincidentally enough, he actually lives in the white building and is a local history buff himself.

We had a nice, nerdy conversation about Brighton/West End history and I learned, among other things, that the alley in front of the white building, Clearwater Alley, used to be "Clearwater Stream," an ironic name considering the stream was red & filthy because of dumping by adjacent pork slaughterhouses. Eventually it got too disgusting and the City filled it in.

Also visible in the distant left-of-center in both photos is the Mockbee building and its two smokestacks.